Teaching methods in a master’s class is different from lecturing on theory. There’s more emphasis on how, with why subsequently provided as the need for that arises. Since I had given a dense 20-minute theoretical talk in the month earlier, the invitation from Satu Teerikangas to the program in International Service Business Management was an opportunity to stretch out at a more leisurely pace with students, as they’re preparing for thesis work.
The 3 hours class was conducted in parts:
The classroom interaction was recorded in audio, and is complemented by slides that had been posted on the Coevolving Commons.
For people who prefer the real-time experience of being in a classroom, video and audio are provided, below.
daviding January 13th, 2017
At the PUARL Conference 2016, a proposal was made on adapting pattern language for service systems thinking. In 1967, Christopher Alexander published Pattern Manual at the founding of the Center for Environmental Structure, describing a pattern format for physical built environments. While we can learn a lot from the nearly 50 years work originating at the CES, service systems have features beyond physicality that suggest reconsidering some of the foundations of pattern language.
An article for discussion was accepted into the proceedings for the PUARL conference. The 20-minute presentation quickly covered the following topics:
Slides have been added over the audio recording to produce a video presentation.
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daviding November 17th, 2016
A lecture for the Master’s Program in Industrial Management at Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences was an opportunity to talk about the research that has been brewing over the past 18+ months, from the basics. These students were unlikely to have heard much about (i) systems thinking; (ii) service systems, (iii) generative pattern language, or (iv) federated wiki.
Coming to Metropolia in 2015 was like a return home. In 2006, the institution was named Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia, and I collaborated on starting up the curriculum as part of the Rendez project. In recent years, I haven’t been so involved. As I was planning a trip to Europe this fall, I discovered that Satu Teerikangas had returned from teaching at UCL in the UK to Finland, becoming the Head of the Industrial Management Program. My itinerary coincided well with the course dates, so I pulled together a presentation from the evolving ideas over the last year. The audience would be a combination of students from the Industrial Management program and the Logistics program.
The session was conducted in two parts, each slightly under 60 minutes. The first part covered:
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In the second part after the break, the agenda covered:
daviding October 21st, 2015
The pattern language community — followers of Christopher Alexander’s approach — is distributed globally. I participated in PLoP 2014 at Allerton Park, Illinois last September, and then attended AsianPLoP 2015 in Tokyo last March. I had been eyeing the PUARL (Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory) conference for fall 2015, but then heard that the event was being incorporated into Purplsoc for 2015. I originally couldn’t justify a trip to Europe for the Purplsoc (Pursuit of Pattern Language for Societal Change) 2015 conference, but then its timing turned out to be back-to-back with the ISIE conference. So, just 3 weeks before the conference, I booked a triangular routing to arrive just in time for the start on July 3, in Krems, Austria.
On the Friday, the program started with some plenary session keynotes:
Saturday morning started with a keynote.
The rest of Saturday morning had parallel streams. I was in the Pattern applications and practices session.
By Saturday afternoon, some of the parallel sessions were being juggled. I attended:
To close out Saturday, there was a plenary panel:
Sunday morning opened with a most impressive plenary keynote:
The Sunday parallel session on Pattern languages for societal change had one impromptu workshop set up, before the scheduled one.
daviding August 10th, 2015
Posted In: pattern language
Prior talks on Service Systems Thinking have focused on basics. For this year’s Symposium on Service Systems Science at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, I decided to step up the emphasis in a short presentation on some selected ideas:
From the 8 practices employed by Christopher Alexander on the 1985 Eishin project, I focused on one:
These ideas are at the core of how systems thinking is intertwined with service science, and pattern languages. Jim Kijima and Hiroshi Deguchi arranged for a videographer this year, so there’s a record of the presentation.
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The video is available on Youtube, or downloadable as audio or video.
daviding July 1st, 2015
Christopher Alexander’s work described the architecting of built physical environments. The 1977 book A Pattern Language bears the subtitle “Towns, Buildings, Construction”. This approach was developed in the context of architectural programming and problem seeking originating the late 1960s. It was complemented by methods described in The Oregon Experiment, and theory in The Timeless Way of Building. Appreciating the philosophy embraced in the practice of building environment structure leads to a lot of reading. The challenge has been made harder by Alexander continually evolving his vocabulary and definitions throughout his career to 2012, with his last publication of The Battle for Life and Beauty of the Earth.
Service Systems Science inquires into a world that is not necessarily physical. Is it possible to remain relatively true to the pattern language approach developed by Christopher Alexander, and extend that into a new domain labelled Service Systems Thinking?
The 21st Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs — known as PLoP, organized by the Hillside Group at Allerton Park, Illinois for September 2014 — was an opportunity to test out the idea of Service Systems Thinking amongst practitioners who have grappled with applying pattern languages to software development for over 20 years. My contribution of writing to the Narrow Road to the Deep North (奥の細道) writer’s workshop led by Richard P. Gabriel and Jenny Quillien turned out to stretch the normal process of critical review. The accepted paper was incomplete, overwhelming in length (since workshops usually review submissions of just a few pages), cross-disciplinary in nature, and written at level beyond an undergraduate audience. Since preceding presentations at other conferences had been workshop presentations of 3 to 5 hours in length, a written work turned out to be an ambitious effort for both the audience and the author.
PLoP conferences produce proceedings, where authors take the comments from the reviewers to revise the writings. The timeline for completion was by January 2015. In months between the Allerton meeting and the deadline, I managed to complete a coherent manuscript which was scheduled to be formally published by the ACM. Self-publishing on the Internet is now easy, so it’s easy to distribute the author’s version of the work.
So, the manuscript for “From Environmental Structure to Service Systems Thinking: Wholeness with Centers Described with a Generative Pattern Language” has been available for some months. At 32 pages (including a long list of references), this work comes with an apology. If you would prefer the precision of reading, this article should be seen as a beginning, not an end. If you’re not a fan of reading, perhaps watching some of videos might be less painful.
daviding June 29th, 2015